Yoga vs The Gym

I attended Hot Yoga classes at Magnolia Yoga Studio here in New Orleans at the end of January to the end of February. I signed up for their 30 classes for 30 dollars and it was amazing!!!! First off, it was my first time trying hot yoga and I didn’t know what to expect for my first class. I didn’t know how hot it’d be but I wore pants during the first class and that was it for me. The following classes I wore shorts and a sports bra. I have completed my classes but I do see myself investing in more classes towards the 3rd quarter within this year. I decided during that time because I still have my gym membership, which is enough for now.

 

Benefits of Yoga: I wrote a post here about the “7 Healthy Benefits Of Yoga” along with those health benefits, yoga also helps with balance, focus and I found it to be spiritual as well. At the end of each class, each instructor told us to honor ourselves by showing up today and we all said at the end of class, together “Namaste” which means to thank the teacher or use as an expression of relief upon the ending of class.

 

What did I learn from Yoga: Honestly, I wouldn’t say that there’s anything new that I learned while in yoga but there are some things that were highlighted such as focus. It takes pure focus on yourself in the mirror to balance out each pose when the person next to you is falling down or coming out of the pose early. Another thing that was highlighted to me while in yoga class was the power of being your own cheerleader in your head. So many times I had to push myself mentally through poses by being the biggest cheerleader in my head. I once heard a quote by Henry Ford “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, both are usually right.” I correlate that to yoga because if you think you can’t hit a pose without even trying, you’re right because you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to try. While in yoga class, you should do your absolute best to hit every pose. It doesn’t matter if you do the pose and come out of it early, what matters most is you showing up and trying. Honor yourself for that along!

What do I gain from going to the gym? The gym is my place!!! Read here about my Fitness Journey here. I love going to the gym because I am working on the target areas where I feel I need to improve. While in yoga, I’m not hitting those target areas because that’s not what yoga entails.

Overall, I would say that it’s a healthy balance to have both memberships but if you’re like me and you’re focused on specific areas, I would say get a gym membership but if you want to work on your balance and focus by pushing yourself and trying different poses, get a yoga membership. Either one works and there’s no such thing as being too healthy or too active.

 

 

7 Healthy Benefits of Yoga

I’ve always wanted to start practicing yoga and this year I decided to invest in a month worth of hot yoga classes from Magnolia Yoga Studio here in New Orleans. So far, I’ve completed two classes without walking out, lol! The first class was 60 mins and the second was 90 mins. Honestly, the first class I felt as if I was going to fall out but I continued pushing myself to the end. I was very proud of myself for being able to focus and be my own cheerleader in my head. I kept telling myself, “You can do this P! Look around you, everyone’s pushing themselves to their maximum potential. Just keep going.” I pushed myself to do all of the poses and it felt great! I plan to do yoga at least 3 times a week along with going to the gym. Yoga is how I am practicing self-care this year. If you’re not familiar with my self–care regimen read more about it here.

Helps you to focus

An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores.

Joint Support

By gently taking joints ankles, knees, hips & shoulders through their range of motion, asana helps keep them strong, which researchers say may help keep you moving freely in athletic and everyday pursuits as you age.

Improves flexibility

Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You’ll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear.

Increase blood flow

Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Headstand, Handstand, and Shoulderstand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated.

Improves your balance

Regularly practicing yoga increases proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space) and improves balance. People with bad posture or dysfunctional movement patterns usually have poor proprioception, which has been linked to knee problems and back pain.

Helps you to sleep deeper

Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Restorative asana, yoga nidra (a form of guided relaxation), Savasana, pranayama, and meditation encourage pratyahara, a turning inward of the senses, which provides downtime for the nervous system.

Gives you peace of mind

Yoga slows down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress. And since stress is implicated in so many health problems from migraines and insomnia to lupus, MS, eczema, high blood pressure, and heart attacks if you learn to quiet your mind, you’ll be likely to live longer and healthier.

Fitness Journey So Far.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to do my best to live a healthier lifestyle. I wasn’t always that type that took working out seriously, years ago I had a gym membership and I just wasn’t consistent with it at all. At that time I didn’t have a goal, I wasn’t certain about which machines to use and I felt as if I was just wasting my time and money, so I let the membership go. During that time, I didn’t drink much water or watched what I ate.

Fast forward to now and working out has become apart of my self-care regimen. Since I turned 30, I noticed changes within my body some I like and some I didn’t like but I’m not the type of person to harper on what I don’t like and sit back and complain, I prefer to do something about it so I decided to get a gym membership and this time be more consistent. I do my best to workout at least 3-4 times a week and I’m drinking more water and no cold drinks at all (soda’s). I made a few changes with my meals as far as staying away from pork and fried foods but my diet is still a work in progress because I LOVE to eat!

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I am not all the way there and I haven’t hit my goal of having a 4 pack without sucking in but I am proud of myself for making positive changes and doing my best to live a healthier lifestyle. I know I’ll see results as long as I continue to put the work in and stay focused. So! That’s what I’m doing!!!

Paris Wears:

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Yay!! It’s Almost Summer!

Summer is almost here & this summer I want to live in a swimsuit!! That want is contingent upon me sticking to my workout schedule. However, I’ve been working out like crazy, from squats to sit-ups while listening to Melanie Fiona, Lauryn Hill and Beyonce on my mp3 player. This picture was captured last summer while at a photo shoot for a 2010 swimsuit calendar.

So basically, I’m trying to maintain that look!! 😉

♥ Top and bottom- Walmart, Shoes-Shoe Nami, Accessories- Forever21